My adventure in Bulgaria started about 7 months ago. Looking back, now I can sum up most of the interesting experiences that I’ve lived. The ups and downs, the moments of happiness and when I felt like I’ve lost all hope.

Although I was born at the border of Bulgaria, I have never set foot in this country before I was 25. And that moment was through an EVS project.

My project is about working with kids that are facing some kind of challenges. They got born in a bad family that doesn’t want them. They have the wrong skin color. Or they have some kind of physical disability. Not having any background in this area first days have been outright shocking. I was feeling overwhelmed, I was feeling hopeless. In time however, I have learnt to speak with and treat them as regular kids. So, my project was to meet those poor kids few times per week and make some kind of activity with them that would give make them feel a bit better about their current situation. We made art workshops with them, we danced, we cooked and we went on trips together.

Being a pragmatic man, instead of focusing about trying to correct my weaknesses I tried to improve my skills. I do have a background in communication.  So I let my colleagues focus on the kids while I took more responsibilities in other areas such as planning activities, organizing and promoting events.

Nowadays I am unofficially volunteering for an online radio, doing my project with kids and I still find time for my passions. Traveling and meeting new people are just two of them. Since I got here, I haven’t missed any training (meeting and connecting with roughly 150 EVS volunteers), traveled in dozens of cities and a few counties. I have dived into the sea and climbed upon mountains.

I won’t get into too personal details however suffices to say that I have made friends, love, argued, hurt, got hurt back or made people feel amazing (even for a moment). All these feelings and experiences mean that I have made my time here count.

This EVS has helped me to understand more things about myself and know what I want to do next. Now, before you move on and do other things, I want you to ask yourself this question: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

Autor: Cristian Mezdrea, voluntar EVS in Bulgaria
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